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Regulatory Actions Related to the Coronavirus

FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS

  • U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury loans for businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
  • Iowa Department of Revenue extends income tax filing and payment deadline to July 31, 2020 
  • IRS deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020 
  • As part of the Emergency Disaster Proclamation issued by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, property tax payments have been deferred through April 16, 2020.
  • McGowen Hurst Clark Smith Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
    If you need additional help from a CPA firm, we partner with MHCS.

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STATE AND LOCAL ORDERS

Via PMAA’s Coronavirus Resource Page
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EMPLOYMENT


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Emergency Family Medical Leave Act & Paid Sick Leave Law)

Employee Guide    |    Employer Guide    |    Q&A   |   Employee Leave Request Form

*We anticipate more guidance being issued in response to a growing list of questions from employers and employees.  We will continue to update this section as more information becomes available.
 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act:
CARES Act (Sections 1101 - 2209) 

Key Provisions:

  • $350 billion to aid small businesses with less than 500 employees through a new special type of SBA 7(a) loan called the “Paycheck Protection Program” to help them make payroll and other expenses.
  • Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the coronavirus crisis will be available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shutdown order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
     
  • A delay in employer payroll tax payments.
  • Changes to allow companies to utilize net operating losses to increase funding.
  • A change to the loss limitation applied to pass-through businesses and sole proprietors to increase funding.
  • A change that allows companies to recover AMT credits.
  • A change increasing the amount of business expenses companies can deduct on tax returns.

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INFRASTRUCTURE
 
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published guidance for state and local governments identifying critical infrastructure that should remain fully operational during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is important to petroleum marketers and heating oil dealers because it will help ensure that all links along the petroleum distribution chain from the refinery down to retail are identified as critical infrastructure that should not be closed, limited or disrupted by state and local government imposed lockdowns, curfews, travel bans and other restrictions of movement put in place to address the coronavirus outbreak. Retail closure has become a major concern for the petroleum marketing industry as states and localities impose increasingly expansive restrictions on both freedom of movement and the size of public gatherings – many of which would force the closure of retail petroleum sites.  Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has stated publicly that she will be following guidance from the Department of Homeland Security.

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ESSENTIAL BUSINESS

The most recent guidance on essential critical infrastructure workforce can be found here. It will help ensure that all links along the petroleum distribution chain from the refinery down to retail are identified as critical infrastructure that should not be closed, limited or disrupted by state and local government imposed lockdowns, curfews, travel bans and other restrictions of movement put in place to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Notable recent additions: 

Page 8: Petroleum industry:  “Workers for crude oil, petroleum and petroleum product storage and transportation, including pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, storage facilities and racks and road transport for use as enduse fuels such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and heating fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing.”

Page 10: Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services: “Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.

Travel Certificate for Essential Employees
With an increasing number of states imposing shelter-in-place requirements, please use the travel certificate for essential employees who may need to keep in their vehicles, if stopped by authorities.
 

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TRANSPORTATION

Hours of Service
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an updated national emergency declaration to provide a hours of service (HOS) waiver for commercial drivers transporting fuel and propane and other emergency relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please note that this is not a blanket HOS waiver. The waiver only applies to drivers delivering fuel for restoration of emergency response infrastructure related to the coronavirus response effort. The emergency HOS waiver is effective March 18, 2020 through midnight May 15, 2020. Click here for more details.

Licensing
FMCSA issued emergency guidance permitting state licensing authorities to automatically extend certain CDL credential renewal deadlines required under federal regulations. Iowa has accepted the emergency guidance and has applied it to the following credential renewal deadlines:

  • Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL)
  • Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
  • CDL Driver Medical Certificates
  •  

Training
The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that the agency will not take enforcement action against any motor carrier or offeror who is unable to provide reoccurring hazardous material training that all CDL HAZMAT drivers (and all HAZMAT employees) must undergo every three years. The enforcement waiver is in effect for 90 days beginning March 23, 2020. 
 
Emergency Fuel Supply Letters
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued two letters designed to ensure petroleum marketers can obtain and deliver fuel for emergency generators and responders conducting restoration and repair of downed communication and power lines that are critical to management of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security issued both the fuel supply and equipment access letters in preparation for extreme weather events that are likely to bring down phone and power lines supporting emergency communication and response efforts to stem the coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic.

US DOT Covid-19 Guidance For Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements
From PMAA Regulatory Counsel Mark Morgan

The U.S. DOT has issued guidance for employers who may have difficulty conducting mandated federal drug and alcohol testing due the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Barriers to testing include unavailability of collection sites, breath alcohol technicians (BAT), medical review officers (MRO) and substance abuse professionals (SAP) caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance provides employers with testing flexibility by recognizing COVID-19 as a possible barrier to testing. In some cases, missed tests must take place at a later date according to the guidance.

WARNING! This is not a blanket waiver of U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements. Employers must follow existing regulations requiring a detailed written explanation on why testing could not be conducted or delayed until a later date and the reasonable efforts taken to find alternative testing venues. Moreover, in no case can an employee, including drivers, conduct safety sensitive functions without first obtaining a negative pre-employment test for drugs and a negative return-to-duty test for drug and alcohol. 

DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Guidance

 







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